Sky Broadband – Observing The Sky Thu, 06 Jan 2022 15:34:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Sky Broadband – Observing The Sky 32 32 Boris Johnson Says ‘Humble’ Apology, Blames New Phone for Not Posting to Downing Street Flat Inquiry | Politics News Thu, 06 Jan 2022 15:30:12 +0000

Boris Johnson offered a “humble and heartfelt apology” to his standards adviser for not disclosing an exchange of messages with a Tory peer where he discussed funding for the renovation of his Downing Street apartment – and blamed the getting a new phone for failing to report the conversation.

In a series of letters between the Prime Minister and his independent adviser on the interests of ministers, Lord Geidt, it was revealed that Mr Johnson had raised “security concerns” for him who had not previously shared the messages.

The prime minister has since offered his “humble and sincere apologies” for not making the exchange available.

Lord Geidt is the independent advisor on the interests of ministers

In April last year, it was revealed that Mr Johnson’s personal cell phone number had been freely available on the internet for 15 years, forcing the Prime Minister to switch devices.

In those WhatsApp messages, from November 2020, the Prime Minister described the current state of his Downing Street apartment as “a bit of a tip” and said he wished interior designer Luly Lytle ” continues “the renovation.

Mr Johnson’s messages have been sent to multimillionaire Conservative donor Lord Brownlow, who has provided £ 112,500 for the refurbishment of the apartment above number 11 which the Prime Minister shares with his wife Carrie.

In response, Lord Brownlow – who was planning to set up a trust to fund the renovation of Downing Street – told Mr Johnson he would “settle it as soon as possible”.

He added: “The approval is a snap because it’s just me and I know where the pounds are going to come from, so as soon as Lulu calls we can crack.”

The WhatsApp messages were only revealed by an Election Commission investigation on the flat row of Downing Street and were not disclosed to Lord Geidt’s own investigation into the case.

Before the conclusion of the Election Commission investigation, Lord Geidt had cleared the Prime Minister of breaking ministerial rules regarding the renovation of his Downing Street apartment.

In his report, the crossbench peer – who was previously the Queen’s private secretary – said the PM told him he didn’t know how the renovation was being paid for until the end of February 2021.

In letters released Thursday, Lord Geidt expressed his anger that he was not informed of the November 2020 messages when he investigated the case; and therefore allowed his report to be contradicted by the Election Commission investigation.

He wrote to Mr Johnson that he was “of serious concern” that no attempt was made to retrieve the messages even after the release of his report in June of last year and when “the device went again been consulted for other purposes “.

Lord Brownlow Pic: Parliament Television
Lord Brownlow provided £ 112,500 for the renovation of the apartment

Lord Geidt told the Prime Minister that this provided “evidence of insufficient attention to the role of your independent adviser”.

However, he added that the revelation of the messages does not alter his “fundamental assessment” that Mr Johnson did not break ministerial rules in funding the renovation of his apartment.

In his response to Lord Geidt of December 21, the Prime Minister wrote: “I am sorry that the office of the independent adviser was put in this position and I can only repeat the humble and sincere apologies I offered when we discussed this issue earlier today. . “

He added: “You understand the security issues at the time meant I didn’t have access to my old device and didn’t remember the message exchange.”

However, some have wondered why WhatsApp messages would have been lost if the Prime Minister changed his personal phone number for security reasons.

WhatsApp offers tips on how chat history can be kept even when changing phone number or when using a new device.

Deputy Labor Party leader Angela Rayner said: “Boris Johnson has little respect for the rules or the truth.

“The ministerial code obliges ministers to act with transparency and honesty. It is simply impossible to read these exchanges and conclude that the Prime Minister did not violate these aspects of the code.

“Once again, in trying to hide the truth, Boris Johnson is undermining his own office. The Prime Minister’s pathetic apology will not fool anyone, and it is just the latest in a long string of sorry episodes.

“It matters because it is important to know who has influence over our government in a democracy.

“The British public cannot WhatsApp to a wealthy donor to open their wallet on demand, and the least it deserves is transparency about who is funding their prime minister.”

Following the fury over the apartment’s renovation, Lytle’s company Soane Britain reimbursed the Cabinet Office which, in turn, reimbursed the Conservative Party.

Mr Johnson then personally paid for the costs of the renovation, which would have included gold wallpaper at £ 840 a roll.

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‘Scary Lights’, ‘Flashes of Light’ and ‘UFOs’ Spotted in Merseyside Sky Sun, 02 Jan 2022 17:00:48 +0000

From oddly shaped “spooky lights”, many mysterious things have been spotted in the Merseyside skies this year.

Some people have managed to capture the weird events on video as they happened from their doorstep.

In November, “flashes of light” were filmed in Moreton as residents were taken aback by what they might be.

READ MORE: People warned not to post photos of lateral flow tests online

Have you seen any strange sights in the Merseyside sky? Let us know in the comments below

Craig Reynolds, of Moreton, was one of the people who managed to capture the Strange Lights.

Speaking to ECHO, Craig said the flashes had been turned on and off “at least an hour before” he captured it on video.

He said the lights then changed color from white to orange.

But that was one of many incidents and we’ve rounded up some of our region’s most exciting and unexplained sightings this year.

‘Strange Lights’ Spotted Hovering in Merseyside Sky

Mysterious lights over Merseyside

In September, people watched “spectacular” lights in the sky as an “unidentified flying object” appeared to hover in the air.

The shiny object appeared to stay still for several minutes before disappearing from view.

Peter Forrest, 49, of Stockbridge Village told ECHO: “He just stood there. We saw him and went back to get the phone.

“But it just stood still, it was weird. Very, very weird.”

The people of Wirral also saw the “strange” lights and took to social media to share what they thought it was.

Its appearance was linked to the launch of the Atlas V rocket.

Read the full story here.

A couple “baffled” by mysterious lights in the sky

Kelly Thompson was on her way to Wales when she saw something scary in the sky
Kelly Thompson was on her way to Wales when she saw something scary in the sky

Kelly Thompson, 29, and her partner Stuart Marshall, 35, were driving on the M6 ​​between Liverpool and Manchester on November 18 around 6:45 p.m. when they saw mysterious lights in the sky above them.

The couple, from Birmingham, were traveling on the motorway to their trailer in Rhyl for a weekend.

Kelly said: “We were driving and saw these weird lights in the sky, I couldn’t really explain it.

“At first I thought it was something projecting into the sky from the ground, but I kept looking around and couldn’t see anything.

“We then drove directly under them and took pictures because I couldn’t explain it. I was baffled.

“I was in the car with my partner and he could see it too and was wondering what it was.”

After seeing the lights and not knowing what they might be, Kelly took to the internet to see if she could find out what she had seen.

She told The ECHO: “I started trying to google what I saw, but it’s hard to express, you know.

“I wentogle for UFO sightings but it was not helpful at all.

“I also told my friends about it and the first thing they said was ‘oh that’s a UFO’, but I’m on the fence with that sort of thing.”

The live global map of satellite positions shows a SpaceX Starlink satellite heading north Wales towards Stoke-on-Trent as the couple were on the highway.

Launched by entrepreneur Elon Musk, the satellites are known to be visible from the ground at night and in the morning.

Read the full story here.

Orange object spotted in the sky above Bootle

Orange light spotted at Bootle
Orange light spotted at Bootle

A mysterious “comet-like” object was spotted in the Merseyside sky in October.

It was filmed by a worker at the Port of Liverpool in Bootle, who was stunned by what he saw.

The object had a large, flaming tail and was pulling away into the distance when spotted by a man in the area.

He said: “It was around 8:30 am and I was there at Alexandra Pier when I looked up and saw him.

“I took out my camera and shot the video – there were actually two of the objects in the sky but I couldn’t record the other.

“I thought it must have been a comet or something. The object was moving away from me at that point and finally it was no bigger than an orange dot.”

He added: “I have no explanation for this. I showed the video to a few people and they thought it looked like a rocket or a missile. Only one thought it was probably aliens or a UFO.

“I’ve never seen anything like it before, but everyone had different opinions about it. I’ve been trying to figure it out all day.”

Read the full story here.

Mystery as bright lights are seen ‘falling’ across Merseyside sky

Strange lights in St Helens
Strange lights in St Helens

A man was left confused after spotting strange lights in the sky over St Helens in February.

Aiden Macartain was driving to work on Liverpool Road in St Helens around 6.30am when he noticed the bright lights appearing to be falling in different directions above him.

The 43-year-old managed to capture them on camera, but was puzzled as to what they might be.

He said that at the time he thought the most likely explanation was that the lights were from a light aircraft display.

He told ECHO: “At first I thought it was a plane but saw five or six in different places and descending at different places.

“It was like falling lights, I was stunned when I saw it.

“I sent the videos to my wife and she said she had no idea. It looked like something had broken in the sky.

“It was definitely not a commercial or military aircraft, I guess it was some kind of light aircraft display.”

Read the full story here.

Dog walker spots ‘UFO’ after seeing bright light moving across sky

Anthony Douglas, 30, took video of the strange UFO
Anthony Douglas, 30, took video of the strange “stop start” UFO he saw over Huyton in the early hours of Wednesday morning (July 14).

A man taking his dogs for a nighttime walk was surprised to see a strange light that stopped and started in the sky.

Anthony Douglas, 30, was walking his dogs with his partner in Huyton just after midnight in July.

An unusual light moving in the sky caught his attention, so he started recording a video of the event with his phone.

Anthony told ECHO: “I was playing Pokemon Go on my phone and for some reason I looked up and we both saw something cross the sky very slowly.

“When we looked there was a little behind but there was no flashing light or nothing – it was crazy.”

Anthony, who owns several Mastiffs among other large dogs, said he walks them regularly at night because it’s easier.

The 50-second video he shot follows the small light in the sky.

Anthony said he believed in UFOs and had seen a few things he couldn’t explain in the past.

Read the full story here.

Flashes of light and “luminous clouds” spotted in the Merseyside sky

Laura, who works nights, said she couldn't believe her eyes when she was near Newsham Park in Tuebrook and spotted the clouds shining in the Merseyside sky.
Laura, who works nights, said she couldn’t believe her eyes when she was near Newsham Park in Tuebrook and spotted the clouds shining in the Merseyside sky.

A woman said she couldn’t believe what she was seeing when she spotted brilliant clouds of eerie colors over Merseyside.

Laura, who works nights, said she saw the strange phenomena in the early hours of the morning in June this year.

She was on duty when she looked up to see the clouds shining and quickly captured a video on her phone.

Laura told ECHO: “I work near the old meat market near Prescot Road. I was near Newsham Park looking towards the Wirral.

“He was heading for the Wirral – across the sky.

“I saw the flashes of light and at first I thought oh, is that the thunder and the lightning, but no bang came.

“I thought it wasn’t real, something was wrong about it.

“It was like a dull flash and then it would turn bright, like going through the brightness settings of a torch.”

Laura said the constantly changing eerie brightness of the clouds lasted for hours.

She said the video she took shows the clouds lighting up through different levels of light before stopping and then starting again.

Read the full story here.

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Fish rain from sky in Texarkana, Texas during freak weather Fri, 31 Dec 2021 18:41:00 +0000

A TOWN in Texas ends the year with quite a lot of fish.

Residents of Texarkana were shocked to see fish falling from the sky on Wednesday due to an abnormal weather phenomenon.


Residents of Texarkana were shocked to see fish falling from the skyCredit: Facebook / City of Texarkana

The bizarre event began as a normal rainstorm on Wednesday afternoon, before locals saw fish falling from the sky and landing in their own backyard.

Although it happened quickly, countless photos and videos of the bizarre storm have been uploaded to the internet as residents find fish in the small town’s backyards and parking lots.

The National Geographic Society explained this phenomenon as “animal rain”, and there is apparently the reports of it going back to ancient civilization.

“Animal rain is a phenomenon that occurs when small aquatic animals like frogs, crabs and small fish are washed away by waterspouts or drafts that occur on the surface of the earth,” said the city ​​of Texarkana in a statement. Facebook post. “They then rained along with the rain.”

However, National Weather Service meteorologists said on Thursday that there had been no reports of waterspouts nearby during the storm, according to KHOU11.

Reports of falling fish were also made in a separate town across the Arkansas state border.

Residents of Texarkana were encouraged to share their photos of fish on the city's Facebook


Residents of Texarkana were encouraged to share their photos of fish on the city’s FacebookCredit: Twitter / @camillecwarren

“I guess if you live long enough you will be able to see a lot of things,” said a resident who shared their experience on Youtube. “Today I got to see fish that were thrown out after a rainstorm – something I never thought I would see.”

Residents of Texarkana were encouraged to share their photos of fish on the city’s Facebook.


“Animal rain” is when small animals like fish or frogs are washed away by a storm and then rain along with the rain.Credit: Twitter / @camillecwarren
Countless photos and videos of the bizarre storm have been uploaded to the internet


Countless photos and videos of the bizarre storm have been uploaded to the internetCredit: Twitter / @camillecwarren
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UK broadband customers within weeks of HUGE price hikes Thu, 30 Dec 2021 07:31:00 +0000

Soaring inflation in the UK threatens to trigger one of the biggest annual price hikes on record for broadband and mobile customers. As it stands, customers with BT Broadband, EE, Plusnet, Vodafone, O2, TalkTalk, Shell Energy, among others, could see their monthly bills increase by around 9% in March or April 2022, which is double the annual price increase introduced by the same companies last year. For those already worried about the dramatic increase in energy bills and household taxes, this could be a blow.

With few exceptions, annual price increases are part of every broadband contract. And it’s not just a trick for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to withdraw a little more money from your checking account each month, businesses are facing increasing costs from providers, let alone. new system development and infrastructure investments – such as BT-owned Openreach’s ongoing plan to upgrade 25 million homes across the UK to fiber-optic broadband by December 2026 , which will also cost more.

In an attempt to offset these costs, the broadband providers listed above have linked annual price increases to the rate of inflation, known as the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Most suppliers will commit to raising prices by a fixed amount (3.9% for BT and EE, for example) plus the CPI inflation rate released in January. This fixed formula means that customers are aware that prices will increase throughout their contract and, looking back on previous years, can have a good nudge in calculating what kind of additional fees they will have to pay each year. . mobile or broadband provider.

Best Sky TV deals

Last year, with a CPI measured at 0.6%, most mobile and broadband carriers charged customers a total annual price increase of around 4.5% in the first few months of the year. ‘year. Since January 2021, there has been a dramatic increase in inflation, mainly due to soaring fuel costs as well as supply issues that have driven prices up across the UK. The confirmed CPI figure for October 2021 was 4.2%, with some estimates predicting it could peak at around 5%.

Forecasts suggest that the CPI will continue to rise. Most ISPs will take the CPI as measured in January, which should not be less than 4%. Compared to 0.6% last year, this is a huge increase. Coupled with the 3.9% charged by BT and EE, customers will consider price increases of at least 7.9%. If you pay around £ 35 per month for your broadband, that works out to an additional £ 2.80 per month – or an additional £ 33.60 over the next 12 months.

O2 customers will see a slightly different calculation as the company calculates its annual increase based on a fixed Retail Price Index (RPI) of 3.9%, which is a measure of inflation in the country calculated monthly. by the Office for National Statistics based on the cost of a sample of various retail goods and services. RPI was measured at 6% in November, which would mean O2 customers would face the biggest price hike.

Meanwhile, Sky Broadband, Sky Mobile, Virgin Media, and Three Mobile charge a fixed amount each year, with no variation based on other factors, such as inflation. For example, Three Mobile has already confirmed to its customers that prices will only increase 4.5% next year. This is about half of what is currently expected for ISPs that rely on CPI or RPI. However, all of this could be subject to change as the tariffs that will be used by ISPs to calculate the annual increase have not yet been released.

The only thing that could seriously lower your bills is switching to a new contract with the same provider or a competing broadband company. If you are currently under contract this will not be possible – although it may be worth talking to a customer service representative as they may be able to give you a new offer if you are ready to sign up for a 24 additional months, for example. If you no longer have a contract, some great offers are currently only available to new customers. While you still face an annual price hike with the majority of UK broadband providers, if you start with a lower monthly cost – or get faster speeds, TV channels, or more mobile data. – for the same cost, it should make this bitter pill a little easier to swallow.

Speaking to, a BT spokesperson said: “As usage on our networks continues to increase and our customers rely on us for connectivity more than ever, it is crucial that we continued to invest in our network, services and As such our prices are expected to increase next year as per our terms and conditions, however customers on BT Home Essentials, BT Basic and Home Phone Saver will not see increase in their prices in 2022 and we are looking into how we can help support others who may be financially vulnerable. “ has put together some of the best broadband deals available in the UK right now. Find them below …

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Sky Q and Sky + HD box download failed recognized Tue, 28 Dec 2021 14:02:23 +0000

As a member of the Sky group, Sky Q is a subscription television service. The British-owned company operates in many countries such as Germany, Ireland, Italy, Austria and the United Kingdom.

Sky Q combines traditional television with on-demand services and several third-party services. In July 2018, Sky Q announced that it had more than 3.6 million customers.

Subscribers can download their favorite shows using the set-top box and even watch them on the go using dedicated mobile apps.

But as with all other on-demand services, users encounter technical issues that sometimes render the service unusable.

And according to recent reports, many say they have problems downloading programs. People say that when they try to download a program on their Sky Q and Sky + Hd box, they get download failed error.

The problem appears to affect both third-party broadband users as well as those on the Sky network. Customers have said they are trying to restart their boxes, with some even resetting them, but the problem persists.

Sky-Q download failed

I recently joined sky and received a free film to choose from to buy and keep. I picked the dark knight and bought it and it’s now in my purchased section in the records. However, when I tried to download multiple times, I got a message at the top of my screen stating that there was a download error due to a technical issue, please try again later. I later tried several times and the same message keeps coming back. I also tried restarting the sky box and my wi-fi router which didn’t make any changes and my storage is also almost empty so it can’t be a problem either. What am I supposed to do?

Every program I try to download comes back with a download failure, I spoke to a member of your team on the phone and they put it in the basket like they say but is there anything else that can be done like this has been going on for a while now

Fortunately, a Sky employee recognized the issue and shared a workaround for Sky Q and Sky + HD customers facing the download failure error that involves downloading the content using the Sky app. Go.

However, they haven’t shared any timelines on when Sky Q users will be able to download their favorite shows.

Hi everyone,
We are aware that we are experiencing issues with our Sky Q and Sky + HD boxes, with customers reporting intermittent download failures on on-demand content. This has been reported to occur both with customers using third party broadband as well as with our own Sky Broadband customers.
We are aware that this will cause inconvenience for all of you, especially during this time of year, and we want to reassure everyone that the affected teams are working hard to resolve this issue as soon as possible.

In the meantime, we ask you not to modify the DNS settings and, as a temporary solution, to download your content to your box via the Sky Go application.
I’ve reached out to some users of this thread for help as we test different scenarios. If you would like to get involved, you can let me know below.
I am very sorry for the inconvenience this causes.

Apple TV not charging

Besides the download failed error, Sky Q and Sky + HD users say that the Apple TV app is stuck on the Apple TV logo.

@SkyHelpTeam can you tell me why the Apple TV app is not working?

@SkyHelpTeam why is the Apple TV app not working?

Fortunately, a Sky employee shared a workaround that might help resolve the issue.

Hi everyone,
Sorry for not updating earlier, as advised by @ louise178, we are aware of an issue where the app is stuck on the Apple TV logo which we are currently investigating.
Temporary workarounds:
On Sky Q boxes resetting the settings can help.
Home> Highlighted settings> Press> 0, 0, 1 Select on the remote control> Reset> Reset settings

As always, we’ll be keeping a close eye and updating this article when Sky resolves the aforementioned issues, so stay tuned for updates.

To note: We have more such stories in our news section, so be sure to follow them as well.

Featured Image Source: Sky

PiunikaWeb started out as an investigative technology journalism website, focusing primarily on “breaking” or “exclusive” news. In no time at all, our stories were picked up by Forbes, Foxnews, Gizmodo, TechCrunch, Engadget, The Verge, Macrumors and many more. Would you like to know more about us? Head here.

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Hunting galaxies far away – this is how anyone can explore the universe Sun, 26 Dec 2021 20:24:30 +0000

This article is one of a series on how readers can learn the skills to participate in activities academics enjoy doing on the job.

My favorite part of my work as an astronomer is those rare moments when I see beautiful distant galaxies, whose light left them millions if not billions of years ago. It is a combination of sheer awe and scientific curiosity that excites me about the ‘galaxy hunt’.

In astronomy today, much of our work involves processing huge amounts of data by writing and running programs to work with images of the sky. One downside is that we don’t always have that “hands-on” experience of looking at every square inch of the universe as we study it. I’ll show you, however, how I get my dose of wonder watching galaxies that only a select few will ever see, so far.

In just our observable universe we estimate that there are over 2,000 billion galaxies!

Read more: Curious Kids: how are galaxies formed?

Galaxies at your fingertips

Only a few decades ago, astronomers had to tediously examine photographic plates after a long, cold, and lonely night of observation. In the 21st century, we have access to information anytime, anywhere via the Internet.

Telescopes and automatic surveys now provide us with so much data that we need machines to help us analyze it. In some cases, human eyes will only look at what computers have found interesting! Massive amounts of data are hosted online, just waiting to be admired, for free.

Read more: Powerful new telescopes allow direct imaging of nascent galaxies 12 billion light years away

Go online for an atlas of the universe

Aladin Lite is one of the best online tools available for viewing our universe through the eyes of many different telescopes. Here we can scan the entire sky for hidden galaxies and even decipher information about their populations and stellar evolution.

Let’s start our Universal Tour by searching for one of the most breathtaking galaxies, the Cartwheel Galaxy. In Aladdin’s interface, you can search for both the popular name of an object (such as “wheel galaxy”) or known coordinates. The location will be centered in the interface.

View online in Aladin Lite of the Cartwheel Galaxy, a lenticular / ring galaxy 500 million light years from Earth discovered in 1941 by iconic astronomer Fritz Zwicky.

The first image of the Cartwheel galaxy that we see comes from optical imagery from the Digitized Sky Survey. The colors we see represent different filters of this telescope. However, these are pretty representative of what the galaxy would look like with our own eyes.

A general rule of thumb as an astronomer is that differences in “color” within galaxies are due to physically different environments. It’s important to note that things that look blue (shorter wavelengths) are generally warmer than things that look red (longer wavelengths).

In this galaxy, the outer ring appears to be bluer than the central red part. It could allude to star formation and stellar activity happening in the outer ring, but less in the center.

To confirm our suspicion of star formation, we may choose to examine data from different surveys, in different wavelengths. When young stars are formed, large amounts of UV radiation are emitted. By changing the reading to GALEXGR6 / AIS, we are only looking at UV wavelengths, and what a difference that makes!

Online view in Aladin Lite of the Cartwheel Galaxy in GALEX UV wavelengths.

The entire central part of the galaxy seems to “disappear” from our image. This suggests that the section is probably home to older stars, with fewer activities. stellar nurseries.

Aladdin is home to 20 different investigations. They provide imagery of the sky from optical, UV, infrared, X and gamma rays.

When I roam the universe looking for interesting galaxies here, I usually start in optics and find ones that I think are interesting. I then use the different surveys to see how the images change when looking at specific wavelengths.

Universal Where is Wally

Now that you’ve taken a crash course in Galaxy Hunting, let’s start the game! You can spend hours exploring the amazing pictures and finding interesting galaxies. I recommend looking at images from DECalS / DR3 for the highest resolution and detail when zoomed in.

The best method is to simply drag the atlas of the sky. If you find something interesting, you can find out all the information we have about it by selecting the target icon and clicking on the object.

To help you on your galactic expedition, here are my favorite finds of the different types of items you might see.

Examples of spiral galaxies found using Aladdin online. Spirals are the most iconic galaxy form and include many of the brightest galaxies in the neighboring universe, such as the Andromeda galaxy.

Spiral galaxies usually have a rotating central disc with large, spiraling “arms” curving from the denser central regions. They are incredibly beautiful. Our own Milky Way is a spiral galaxy.

Read more: Is our Milky Way galaxy a zombie, already dead and we don’t know?

Examples of elliptical galaxies. This type of galaxy has an approximately ellipsoidal shape and a smooth, almost featureless image.

Elliptical galaxies are largely featureless and less “flat” than spirals, with stars sometimes occupying almost a 3D ellipse. These types of galaxies tend to have older stars and less active star-forming regions than spiral galaxies.

Examples of lenticular galaxies. It is a type of galaxy intermediate between elliptical and spiral galaxies.

Lenticular galaxies appear like cosmic pancakes, quite flat and without relief in the night sky. These galaxies can be thought of as the “in-between” of spiral and elliptical galaxies. Most of the star formation has stopped, but lenticular galaxies can still contain significant amounts of dust.

There are also other amazing types of galaxies, including mergers and lenses, who are waiting for you to find them. I’d love to see what amazing things you find on Twitter at @sarawebbscience.

Read more: 5 Ways Families Can Benefit From Astronomy During The Pandemic

You can read more articles in this series here.

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Tata Sky is giving its Binge + users an upgrade with a free decoder, but there’s a catch Fri, 24 Dec 2021 12:13:23 +0000

Tata Sky offers its Binge + users a free set-top box (STB), but the offer is applicable to certain users. Tata Sky users can benefit from this offer if they top up through the mobile app or its website.


  • The Binge + is a second generation hybrid DTH decoder based on the Google Android TV platform.
  • Users can switch between TV channels and OTT platforms with a single click through the Binge +.
  • Users with a top-up of Rs 6000 for one year will be able to benefit from a free Binge + STB upgrade offer from Tata Sky.

Tata Sky launched its Binge + (STB) decoder last year. The Binge + is a second generation hybrid DTH decoder based on the Google Android TV platform. The Android based 4K set-top box allows users to watch live TV via DTH and OTT content over the internet. As it is an Android supported device, it gives users the benefit of downloading apps from PlayStore. Now Tata Sky is offering its Binge + users a free set-top box (STB), but the offer is applicable to some users. Tata Sky users can benefit from this offer if they top up through the mobile app or its website. Users with a top-up of Rs 6000 for one year will be able to benefit from a free Binge + STB upgrade offer from Tata Sky with an STB.

Tata Sky Binge also offers a bundle subscription to several OTT platforms such as SonyLIV, Disney + Hotstar, CuriosityStream, Voot Select, ZEE5, EpicON, Voot Kids, Eros Now, HungamaPlay, SunNXT, Docybay, Hungama Play and ShemarooMe.

According to a report from Telecom Talk, along with a one-month free subscription to Tata Syy Binge, users will also have access to Amazon Prime Video for one month. Tata Sky notes that users must have a stable internet connection that offers an internet speed of at least 4 Mbps to get the most out of their Binge + decoder.

Separately, Tata Sky Binge + costs Rs 2,499 for new users while existing Binge + STB users can get a second Smart Box for Rs 1,999. The STB comes with 2GB of RAM and 8GB of internal memory. Users can also expand this memory up to 128 GB using an SD card. The price of Binge +, each month, is Rs 153 for the most basic TV channels and Rs 299 for OTT applications, once the free subscription period ends, with an additional Rs 129 per month for Amazon Premium, which decreases to Rs 600 per month.

Click here for’s full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Soon, 1 in 15 light points in the sky will be … Mon, 20 Dec 2021 20:08:15 +0000

I look up and notice a bright satellite moving across the sky, almost certainly a Starlink, since they now almost form half of the nearly 4,000 operational satellites and they are extremely bright. I take a deep breath and think carefully about how to discuss the substantial cost that we will all have to pay for Internet Starlink.

I don’t blame my neighbors for changing. Here, as in many rural areas of North America, there is no great internet options, and with many people working and taking home classes during the pandemic, anything that makes life easier is immediately accepted.

But I know exactly how high that cost could be. My paper, in The astronomical journal, at predictions of what the night sky will look like if satellite companies follow through on their current plans. I also know that due to the geometry of the sunlight and the orbits that have been chosen, 50 degrees north, where I live, will be the hardest hit part of the world.

Without regulation, I know that in the near future, one point out of 15 you can see relentlessly crawling satellites in the sky, not stars. It will be devastating for astronomical research and will completely change the night sky around the world.

The future is too, too bright

In order to determine how much the night sky will be affected by reflected sunlight from predicted satellite mega-stellations, we constructed a open source computer model to predict the brightness of satellites seen from different places on Earth, at different times of the night, at different seasons. We also built a simple web application based on this simulation.

Our model uses 65,000 satellites in orbits deposited by four mega-constellation companies: SpaceX Starlink and Amazon Kuiper (United States), OneWeb (United Kingdom) and StarNet / GW (China). We calibrated our simulation to match Starlink satellite telescope measurements, because they are by far the most numerous.

Starlink has so far made progress in upgrading its satellites since its first launch, but most are. still visible to the naked eye.

Our simulations show that from all over the world, in every season, there will be tens to hundreds of satellites visible for at least an hour before sunrise and after sunset. Right now, it’s relatively easy to escape urban light pollution for dark skies by camping or visiting your cabin, but our simulations show that you can’t escape this new satellite light pollution anywhere on Earth. even at the North Pole.

The most severely affected places on Earth will be 50 degrees north and south, near cities like London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Kiev, Vancouver, Calgary and my own home. At the summer solstice, from these latitudes, there will be nearly 200 satellites visible to the naked eye all night.

I study the orbital dynamics of the Kuiper belt, a belt of small bodies beyond Neptune. My research is based on long exposure wide field imaging to discover and track down these little bodies to learn more about the history of our solar system.

The telescope observations that are essential for learning more about our universe are about to get much, much harder due to the unregulated development of space.

Astronomers create mitigation strategies, but they will take time and effort that should be paid for by the mega-constellation companies.

Unknown environmental costs

Starlink Internet may seem cheaper than other rural options, but that’s because many costs are unloaded. An immediate cost is atmospheric pollution hundreds of rocket launches needed to build and maintain this system.

Each satellite deployment throws used rocket bodies and other debris into an already crowded low-earth orbit, increasing risk of collision. Some of this space debris will eventually fall back to Earth, and parts of the globe with the highest densities of air satellites will also be the most likely to be literally impacted.

Starlink plans to replace each of the 42,000 satellites after five years of operation, which will require desorbing an average of 25 satellites per day, or about six tonnes of equipment. The mass of these satellites will not disappear – it will be deposited in the upper atmosphere. Since satellites primarily consist of aluminum alloys, they can form alumina particles when they vaporize in the upper atmosphere, potentially destroying ozone and causing global temperature changes.

This has not yet been studied in depth because low Earth orbit is currently not subject to any environmental regulations.

Regulate the sky

Right now Low Earth Orbit, where all of these satellites are supposed to operate, is almost completely unregulated. There are no rules regarding light pollution, air pollution from launches, air pollution from re-entry or collisions between satellites.

These mega-stellations might not even be financially viable in the long term, and Internet speeds may slow down on a crawl when several users log in at the same time or when It’s raining.

But companies are now launching satellites at a breakneck pace, and the damage they are causing to the night sky, atmosphere and low Earth orbit security will not be reversed even if the operators go bankrupt.

There is no doubt that rural and remote Internet users in many places have been left behind by the development of Internet infrastructure. But there are plenty of other internet delivery options out there that won’t come with such extreme costs.

We cannot accept the overall loss of access to the night sky, which we have been able to see and connect with for as long as we are humans.

With cooperation instead of competition between satellite companies, we could have a lot less in orbit. By changing the design of the satellites, they could be made much weaker, having less impact on the night sky. We shouldn’t have to choose between astronomy and the Internet.

But without regulations requiring these changes, nor strong consumer pressure to indicate the importance of the night sky, our view of the stars will soon be changed forever. DM / ML

This story was first published in The conversation.

Samantha Lawler is Assistant Professor of Astronomy at the University of Regina.

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Millions of people unlocked supercharged fiber broadband speeds Sun, 19 Dec 2021 08:57:00 +0000

Ofcom reports 8 million UK homes can now access future-proof full-fiber broadband (Image: GETTY)

More than eight million homes across the UK can now access full fiber broadband – an increase of three million homes from the same period last year, the regulator Ofcom has confirmed. Full fiber connections are faster, more reliable, and require no line rental costs, unlike traditional copper cables. Some of the best-known brands, including BT, TalkTalk and Virgin Media, are now offering customers the option of upgrading to a full fiber broadband connection. And if you are lucky enough to live in one of the eight million premises now connected to this next-generation connection, switching to this technology has a number of advantages.

Fiber optic cables have long been used to boost internet speeds to your street cabinet, with the last few feet to your home’s Wi-Fi router covered by copper cables. These are many slower than fiber and less reliable – broadband speeds delivered over copper cables can be affected by inclement weather, for example. If you have a full fiber connection, the same powerful cables that take the Internet to your closet on your street continue to your front door. Of course, this usually requires digging out parts of the road and sidewalk on your street, which is why upgrading old connections takes so long.

Full fiber connections do not require a separate line rental charge and can be purchased without a phone line. For those who want a landline number, specially designed handsets that use the broadband connection, such as FaceTime Audio or WhatsApp call, are available that offer improved call quality. With a full fiber broadband connection, you can expect gigabit broadband speeds. At 1000 Mbps, that’s over 14 times faster than the average UK home broadband connection.

ofcom 8 million speed full fiber broadband uk bt sky talktalk virgin media

Fiber replaces slower copper cables to bring the high speed of these cabinets to your front door (Image: GETTY)

At these super-fast speeds, you’ll be able to download a 1080p high-definition movie in under 36 seconds, or a super-high-quality 4K movie in under three minutes. In busy homes, with multiple people streaming music, gourmet boxes on Netflix, downloading software updates, backing up photos to the cloud and posting to social media ….

It should be noted that while Virgin Media has upgraded all of its 15.5 million customers to gigabit capable connections, not all of those users have fiber optic broadband. Instead, Virgin Media leverages existing DOCSIS 3.1 technology built into its network to increase the speeds available to customers. Virgin Media is also upgrading its customers to full fiber to help sustain its network, but for now millions of people can already access some of the fastest speeds in the UK.

BT’s Openreach, which provides the underlying infrastructure to BT, TalkTalk, Sky, Plusnet and a number of other popular broadband companies, has connected more than five million homes to its all-fiber infrastructure. Interestingly, although it relies on the same cables as TalkTalk and BT, which both offer gigabit speeds, the fastest broadband plan available from Sky is currently 500 Mbps – about half the speed. !

It’s unclear why the satellite TV company decided not to offer these next-gen speeds to those in the upgraded areas, but rumors have been circulating for some time that Sky plans to drop Openreach for Virgin Media’s gigabit-enabled network.

What is full fiber broadband and why is it better than your current connection?

Fiber broadband is the future of the Internet, and carriers like Virgin Media and BT’s Openreach have worked hard to upgrade their networks to deliver these blazing fast download speeds. While existing broadband connections rely on copper cables to deliver internet from those green communication boxes littered on the streets of the UK, all-fiber broadband – as the name suggests – uses cables. more powerful (and reliable) fiber optics to your front door instead.

The fastest fiber optic speeds currently available in the UK are offered with Virgin Media’s Gig1 plan, which offers average download speeds of 1130 Mbps. That’s light years ahead of Blighty’s average broadband download speed, which stands at around 70 Mbps as measured earlier in 2021.

As an example of the benefits of fiber connections, Gigabit broadband will let you download a high definition feature film in just 36 seconds, or a crisp 4K Ultra HD movie in under three minutes. These speeds allow busy households to save their photos, download software updates, make video calls, binge on 4K boxes, and play online video games all at the same time. rush hour without a hint of buffering. It also prepares houses to stand the test of time for the next wave of technology, including 8K video quality, virtual reality, and more.

By the end of 2021, Virgin Media upgraded its entire network of 15.5 million homes to gigabit-capable broadband (although it will take longer for all of these customers to use fully live connections. fiber). So if you are covered by Virgin Media, you can sign up right away. While BT’s Openreach will complete the upgrade of its all-fiber network (some 25 million homes) by December 2026. So far, super-fast downloads are available for more than five million properties covered by Openreach, which provides the infrastructure for BT, TalkTalk, Sky, Plusnet, EE, Vodafone and many more.

Small businesses, like Hyperoptic, Gigaclear and Community fiber, have emerged to bring full fiber broadband to areas that are currently not served by either Virgin Media or Openreach. These include projects specifically targeted at rural villages or suburban towns. If you can’t expect next-gen broadband, these are a great option – and can also be cheaper than more well-known brands.

According to the Ofcom report, around 7.4 million broadband customers in the UK are currently out of contract and may therefore switch to a new provider or to a new agreement with their existing provider. By keeping the same monthly fees after your contract ends, you’ll likely pay higher prices for slower speeds.

“Many families now have multiple devices on the go at the same time for work, learning and entertainment – and the holiday season can see a particular battle for bandwidth,” said Lindsey Fussell , Director of Ofcom’s Network and Communications group.

Integral fiber helps meet these demands, with millions more benefiting from faster speeds and more reliable connections.

Lindsey fussell

“Full fiber helps meet these demands, with millions more benefiting from faster speeds and more reliable connections. But some homes in hard-to-reach areas are still struggling to get decent broadband, so there is still work to be done to ensure these communities get the connections they need.

About 123,000 households (0.4% of the UK) still do not have access to a ‘decent’ broadband connection, which Ofcom defines as offering download speeds of 10 Mbps and download speeds of. 1 Mbps. At this speed, it would take 90 minutes to download a feature film in High Definition.

If you’re currently one of the 7.4 million people outside of their minimum contract, it’s worth checking out the latest available offers. Chances are, you’ll be able to save on your monthly bills or increase your download speeds – and those with very old contracts will probably be able to do both at the same time! has rounded up the latest UK broadband deals below …

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Villages set to boost broadband with £ 95million investment in BT Openreach Fri, 17 Dec 2021 11:26:00 +0000

Hundreds of homes and businesses in Drymen and Kippen are set to benefit from a significant increase in broadband as part of a £ 95million investment by Openreach.

The country’s largest digital network provider is used by customers of service providers such as BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Vodafone.

The towns of Stirlingshire will be modernized following the company’s latest construction announcement, with a new superfast and ultra-reliable ‘full fiber’ broadband network to be built in most premises in the region.

The digital network provider has now reached over six million homes and businesses across the UK with ultra-fast fiber, of which around 480,000 are in Scotland.

The latest plans follow news earlier this year that around 300,000 Scottish homes and businesses would have access to Openreach’s new network, mostly in rural and hard-to-serve areas. The company has already announced plans to upgrade Balfron, Blanefield, Callander, Doune, Dunblane and Killearn.

Robert Thorburn, Director of Partnerships for Openreach in Scotland, said: “As Scotland’s largest fiber builder, we are delighted to unveil a boost to home and business broadband from Drymen and Kippen.

“Good connectivity is vital – whether it’s working from home, accessing education and care services, or streaming games and entertainment – and that’s why we invest in everything. the United Kingdom to upgrade our network to 25 million premises.

“No one builds faster, farther or to a higher standard than Openreach, and we have already reached six million homes and businesses with ultra-fast fiber optic technology, of which 480,000 are in Scotland. It is also proving to be popular, with almost 23% of them having already chosen to start using it.

“Our engineers and construction partners are reaching more and more communities every week, and we don’t just build in cities and urban areas. Many rural and hard-to-reach communities are already benefiting, and we plan to reach many more in the months and years to come.

Click here for more news and sports from the Stirling area.

Scottish Government Economic Secretary Kate Forbes said: “Digital connectivity is more vital than ever and essential to Scotland’s plans for a strong, green and fair economic recovery.

“Our Reach 100 Percent (R100) program – including our £ 600million investment in R100 contracts – ensures that everyone in Scotland can access super high speed. With Openreach’s latest business investment of £ 95million, this will ensure that more than 50 of our communities across Scotland will be able to access fiber-optic broadband even faster.

In the UK, over 1.3 million homes and businesses have already ordered full fiber optic service from a range of retail service providers using the Openreach network. But that means millions more have yet to start enjoying some of the world’s fastest and most reliable broadband connections, and have yet to upgrade.

Recent research from the Center for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) has highlighted the clear economic benefits of connecting everyone in Scotland to fiber optic. He estimated this would create a £ 4.5bn boost to the local economy.

Openreach engineers have worked to make the technology accessible to as many people as possible across the UK – sometimes reaching 47,000 premises per week – and work will continue through 2026, the full list of locations and deadlines being regularly updated on the OpenReach website.

The company plans to reach a total of 25 million premises by the end of December 2026, including more than six million in the most difficult to serve regions of the country defined by the industry regulator Ofcom.

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